12 Jul 2019

Peters insists focus remains on Australia deportation policy

6:35 pm on 12 July 2019

The Foreign Minister insists New Zealand has not given up on trying to get Australia to relax its deportation policy, despite not raising the matter today.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

Winston Peters said New Zealand has to focus on achieving a 'far fairer legal outcome'. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

Winston Peters spoke briefly this afternoon with his Australian counterpart, Marise Payne, after they had both attended Indonesia's Pacific Expo in Auckland.

The government has long been critical of Australia's practice of deporting New Zealanders, even when they have spent most of their lives across the ditch.

But Mr Peters said the matter did not come up.

"We have to begin on the basis that Australia has got, as we have, every right to write its own domestic policy.

"That said, of course we've got to keep on focus to get a far better understanding and what we would believe is a far fairer legal outcome, especially when people arrived in Australia when they were three, four, five, six or seven years of age."

Any softening of Australia's position seems unlikely, as Marise Payne says she has no intention of reviewing the policy.

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